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Steve Welch, Geological Sciences Alumni Advisory Board Member

Steve Welch, portrait oudoors
Steve Welch

Ohio University B.S. Geology ’02, University of Tennessee M.S. Geology ’05

Steve Welch is originally from nearby Chillicothe, OH, where he graduated from high school with a very basic science background and had no idea what a geologist did. Near the end of his junior year of college, Geology 101 got him excited about a career that he could enjoy instead of just a job. He graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. in Geology in 2002 and completed an M.S. degree in Geology at the University of Tennessee in 2005. His thesis research at UT took him to western Montana to study the cyclicity of the mixed siliciclastic-carbonate Helena Formation of the Belt Supergroup. Upon completion of his M.S. degree, Welch started his career as a petroleum geologist at ExxonMobil in Houston, TX. Steve resides in the Houston, TX, area with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Adelaide.

As an ExxonMobil geologist, Welch has had the opportunity to work exploration, development, and production assets, as well as working with cutting-edge research projects at Exxon Mobil’s Upstream Research Co. Currently, he is the Geoscience Planning Advisor for the Exxon Mobil Production Co. Over the short course of his career, he has been involved in characterizing risk and uncertainty surrounding reservoir stratigraphy and structural complexity, calculating in-place and recoverable hydrocarbon volumes, planning and permitting wells to either discover new hydrocarbon accumulations or reduce uncertainty around existing discoveries, and integrating well data with state of the art 3D seismic data to create a fully integrated model of the subsurface. In addition to meeting evolving business needs related to individual oil and gas fields, he also has worked as a supervisor where his job responsibilities included near-term and long-term career development for the geologist and geophysicists on his team.

Welch attributes his success in the energy industry, and as a scientist in general, to the geological fundamentals, he learned here at Ohio University. That’s why he was so excited to become a charter board member of the Ohio University Geological Sciences Alumni Advisory Board back in 2009. He is passionate about helping students understand what a petroleum geology career looks like day to day, how we should all be excited about every kind of geology because we’re all scientists, and what students should be thinking about now to better prepare themselves for graduate school, job interviews, and a long exciting career in geology.